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Young film crew highlights the importance of going to school

Young film crew from Gordonvale Catholic school

Movie stars: St Michael’s Film Club with their teacher Josh Bowling (left), Principal Gary Recklies (back, second from right), and Cairns Catholic Education executive director Bill Dixon (right) during the presentation of their cheque as winners of a student video competitions.

MISS a few days of school at St Michael’s, Gordonvale, and you might find yourself disappearing into thin air.

That’s the premise behind a winning video by a group of primary aged students who creatively interpreted the effect of staying in school. 

St Michael’s Film Club, headed by first year teacher Joshua Bowling, took first place in the Cairns Catholic Education student video competition, which was open to the diocese’s 29 primary and secondary schools.

Students were asked to interpret the concept of school attendance, and for the budding film stars at St Michael’s, they believe missing classes can literally make you invisible.

In the film, which was shot entirely on an iPad, one girl begins vanishing in class, to the horror of her classmates.

Another student explains that if a student misses too much school “it’s like you’re never really there”.

Mr Bowling said the film project was a whole school effort but primarily led by young girls.

“There was about 30 kids who turned up that morning, straight after they announced the video idea at assembly,” Mr Bowling said.

“I was really surprised, because 27 of those 30 were all girls.

“They all want to be directors.”

Year 6 student Caitlin Hudson was among the young women bursting to be in the school’s film crew.

Aside from getting her five minutes of fame in the movie, the project has inspired her not to take for granted the gift of education.

“I always loved coming to school but after we made that movie I thought about all the other opportunities school can offer and I realised it’s even more important than I thought,” Caitlin said.

“The important thing is coming to school in learning so later in life you can do other things.

“Later in life I want to become a teacher so I know it’s very important to come to school and learn.”

Among the male film crew members, Year 3 student Cooper Wallwork enjoyed being part of a clever bus scene and the chance to eat cake on set.

It was almost a little too much for the young student.

“I felt quite exhausted,” Cooper said.

Mr Bowling said the film project has taught the students an important lesson about embracing their activities with a positive attitude.

“They come to Film Club every time with a smile,” Mr Bowling said. 

“It’s great they’ve got this video that people can watch, and in the kid’s language.

“If you miss days of school, it’s like building a wall, you’re missing some bricks, it can’t stand up.”

As first prize winners of the film competition, the students received a voucher for Garrick’s Camera House Cairns and a cash prize for the film club.

The club is hoping to use their voucher to purchase microphones and small cameras to use in future projects.

Watch: The winning video by students at St Michael’s School, Gordonvale

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